Published: Apr 03, 2013 1:50 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - A Florida panther rescued as a kitten is ready to return to the wild.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials plan to release the male panther Wednesday afternoon in southwest Palm Beach County.
Wildlife officials rescued the panther and its sister in September 2011 in Collier County after their mother was found dead. The kittens were raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee since they were 5 months old.
The female panther was released in February in Collier County. Officials say the cats are now 2 years old and big enough to survive on their own.
It's rare for panthers to be raised in captivity and then released. The Florida panther is an endangered species. Only around 160 panthers are believed to remain in southern Florida.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

(Photo courtesy of FWC from a previous panther release)